As was expected, there is a chorus of people calling for The Donald to step down, step aside, quit or whatever other term you’d care to apply. In the wake of the, er… vulgar language tape making the rounds, politicians are abandoning ship in a panic. Not the Democrats, of course. They’re having a field day this weekend and they probably realize that with the continuing flood of awful news about their own candidate (whether the media is covering it or not), Trump may be the only plausible person with an “R” after their name who Hillary could possibly beat. But the Republicans are starting to lose their nerve and attempting to isolate themselves.
Joe Heck, in the midst of a fight for Harry Reid’s Senate seat, came out with Mitt Romney to call for Donald Trump to get out of the race. Jason Chaffetz was one of the first to go. Mike Lee was only a few hours behind him. And now one of Trump’s previous competitors for the nomination has joined the chorus… Carly Fiorina. This from her Facebook page:
Donald Trump does not represent me or my party. I understand the responsibility of Republicans to support their nominee. Our nominee has weighty responsibilities as well. Donald Trump has manifestly failed in these responsibilities.
I have traveled the country for years warning Americans that Hillary Clinton is unfit to be President.
We must have a conservative in the White House to restore accountability, opportunity and security. For the sake of our Constitution and the rule of law, we must defeat Hillary Clinton.
Today I ask Donald Trump to step aside and for the RNC to replace him with Gov. Mike Pence.
For his part, Trump is still defiant and he told the Wall Street Journal, among other outlets, that there was zero chance he would be bowing out. (CBS News)
Donald Trump is refusing to back down from the presidential race, telling news outlets that there is “zero chance” he’ll quit after a controversial 2005 tape leaked of his derogatory and vulgar comments about women.
There is “zero chance I’ll quit,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal Saturday. The “support I’m getting is unbelievable.”
In a separate interview with the Washington Post, Trump said he’d “never withdraw.”
“I’ve never withdrawn in my life,” Trump said over the phone from Trump Tower. “No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support.”
This is the sort of moment which leaves me with mixed emotions. I was an early cheerleader for Fiorina’s bid, and while I wasn’t officially “endorsing” her I’d always hoped she might do well in the primary race. In fact, just the other day (before all this brouhaha over the video surfaced) I was reflecting on Carly’s run on Twitter.
One of those sad afternoons where I find myself thinking that if we'd nominated @CarlyFiorina we'd be up by 20 pts right now. :-(
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) October 6, 2016
But for better or worse, it’s too late for that now. Even if The Donald wanted to voluntarily step down it’s tough to see how we would put together another structure which would be fully reflected on the ballot everywhere and get the voters to shift gears in only a few weeks. Perhaps it wouldn’t be impossible, but it’s unlikely in the extreme. If there was going to be a change I think it would have had to come before now.
As for this Facebook announcement, as much as I still like and respect Carly Fiorina, we do have to wonder whether there might be at least a shadow of some personal interest being expressed here. She’s a fighter who was ready to take the nomination had she ever gained traction in the polls, but she also signaled quickly that she would be happy with the veep slot. (You may recall her brief fling with Ted Cruz as his running mate on the trail.) Obviously having her show up this weekend and ask Trump to step down and to have the RNC replace him with her would be a bit beyond the pale. But in the hypothetical scenario where Pence was suddenly the nominee she’d be pretty well positioned to argue that she was all set to be the running mate. And having gone to bat for Pence at the top of the ticket, her public loyalty wouldn’t be in question.
Am I going to hold that against her? Nope. Nobody with the sort of personality which drives them to try to become the leader of the free world arrives without a pretty high sense of self-worth and significant ambition. If she’s still in there swinging for the fences it’s a mark of her character and drive more than any sort of negative, and if (again… we’re talking fantasy land here) she wound up as the GOP’s VP pick I’d certainly be supporting her.